By Murray Gleffe, Correspondent
ASHWAUBENON- The Ashwaubenon Jaguar girls’ basketball team overcame a 19-point first half output to outlast the Manitowoc Ships (Dec. 12) by a final of 58-41.
Hayden Kupsh led the Jaguars with 17 points, and Maddie Koch added 13 points and 7 rebounds.
The shooting to start the game was as cold as the thermostat read outside. Both teams combined to go 3 for 16 to start the game.
Fortunately for the Jaguars, it was their three shots that dropped.
Autumn Schlader connected on a nice up and under move and the subsequent free throw completed the old fashioned ‘three-point play’ to put the Jaguars up early.
After Kally VanLaanen drained a triple from the right corner, it put the team up 8-1 with 11:28 left in the first half.
The Ships, however, behind the play of Morgan Bartow went on a 12-1 run later in the half to cut the Jaguar margin to a single point (14-13) with just 4:05 remaining till halftime.
Bartow had a game-high 24 points on the evening.
“We got off to the early lead despite not shooting the ball great,” said Nicky VanLaanen, Jaguar Head Basketball Coach. “Manitowoc then made the run. They play hard, and never quit. I was happy at how we closed the half out. I think it gave us some momentum heading into the last 18 minutes.”
Just before the break, Kupsh connected on a long-range bomb to put the Jaguars up 19-15, and they carried that margin into the locker room.
At that point, the Ships forced the Jaguars to make distance shots, were clogging the lane on entry passes, and not allowing the Jaguars to transition off missed shots.
That all changed in the second half!
With the Ships missing a majority of their shots to start the second stanza, the Jaguars got out and ran with the bulls.
Megan Servais and Koch connected on four straight layups (off defensive rebounds and outlets) to put the Jaguars up 33-23 with 10:52 remaining in the game.
The Ships Head Coach Dave Jirikowic called a time-out to try and make some adjustments.
To no avail, this night belonged to the Jaguars.
The lead ballooned to 46-25 after Koch received good post position and put the three-foot bucket home.
The Jaguars biggest lead of the game was twenty-four points (55-31) after Kupsh drilled a 14-footer from the right arc.
“We really stretched the defense out on top in half number two, and it forced their players into turning the ball over,” added VanLaanen. “I was extremely proud of how the girls rebounded the ball and didn’t hesitate with the initial pass down the court.”
The Jaguars went onto capture the game by 17 points, and improve to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the FRCC.
They will be back in action on Dec. 15 when they to travel to Pulaski to take on the Red Raiders.
Manitowoc/Ashwaubenon Box Score
Manitowoc 15,26, -41
Ashwaubenon 19,39, -58
Ship Totals: FG’s 15-52, 3 PT FG’s 4-18, FT’s 7-12, Rebounds 32, Assists 7, Steals 4, Blocks 0, Turnovers 19, Personal Fouls 18
Bartow 24, Zimmer 7, Hagger 3, Delmore 2, Swoboda 2, Luer 2, Hecker 1
Jaguar Totals: FG’s 20-52, 3 PT FG’s 4-14, FT’s 14-20, Rebounds 34, Assists 11, Steals 7, Blocks 4, Turnovers 15, Personal Fouls 13
Kupsh 17, Koch 13, Servais 10, VanLaanen 9, Schlader 4, Schaible 4, Steinhoff 1